One of the Abnaki's last struggles took place in the vicinity of Conway where the Pequaket, Saco and Ossipee tribes established a line of defense.
Paugus, the son of Wonalancet, and one of the Penacooks refused to submit to defeat. Years before John Stark muttered the famous words that now are the motto of New Hampshire "Live Free or Die" Paugus demonstrated its truth.
He was already an ally with the Pequakets and he joined them after the battle at Lake Winnisquam. He led attacks upon the lonely cabins of settlers in the saco Valley until he was regarded as the leader of their scattered depredations.
Realizing that no safety for settlers existed, about 1723 Captain John Lovewell organized a band of about 90 scouts who were dedicated to a fight that is known as Lovewell's War. After their crops were harvested, these men hunted Indians in the saco Valley, enduring hunger, cold and wounds and even death for many.
At last on April 26, 1725 Captain Lovewell and 46 men left Dunstable, Mass. for the Ossipee Valley. On May 8th they encountered about 80 Indians. All that day they fought from behind trees and boulders near the shore of the pond that now bears the name Lovewell's Lake.
Captain Lovewell was wounded early in the day but fought on until he was killed late in the afternoon. Half of his men were either killed or wounded and 60 of the 80 Indians met death.
Paugus met face to face with Scout Chamberlain. Both fired, Chamberlain was wounded and Paugus was killed. With Paugus dead, the Indians retreated, deserted their meadows at Conway, and united with the French in Maine. Southern New Hampshire became safe for settlement, yet the four French and Indian Wars were to be fought to determine which European nation should possess this country-a conflict which did not end until 1763.
Only an occassional band of harmless Abnakis roamed the forests after 1725. When the white settlers established their towns in the north country after 1760, in the bitter cold of winter an Indian family might ask to sleep before the fireplace in a pioneer's cabin. when they left at dawn, a leg of venison would be on the doorstep or some other evidence of thanks for the kindness of the settler.
Indians of New Hampshire
Eva A. Speare copyright 1965
Historic Indian Trails of New Hampshire
Chester B. Price copyright 1967
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